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Perspectives on the Older Scottish Tongue$
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Christian Kay and Margaret Mackay

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748622818

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622818.001.0001

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DOST and the Literary Scholar

DOST and the Literary Scholar

(p.5) Chapter 2 DOST and the Literary Scholar
Perspectives on the Older Scottish Tongue

Priscilla Bawcutt

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter describes the ways in which the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) has assisted one scholar, and may, in turn, help others. DOST is obviously valuable to all readers who encounter obsolete or archaic words in older Scottish texts. But for readers with literary interests, DOST provides far more than the elucidation of unusual spellings or the explanation of ‘hard’ words. It supplies a wealth of information about the connotations of Scots words and phrases, and also about the registers to which they belong. It achieves this in two ways. First by providing explicit guidance as to usage with terse comments such as ‘fig’, ‘proverb’, ‘only in verse’, or ‘chiefly allit’. Second by providing copious illustrations of such usage in the form of quotations.

Keywords:   Older Scots language, Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, DOST, Scots words, registers

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